Posts Tagged ‘stationery’

Why I Hate Office Depot

Monday, June 18th, 2012

Much like OfficeWorks in Perth, Paris has one large stationery chain store that is astonishingly useless. At least OfficeWorks isn’t THAT overpriced, while France’s OfficeDepot likes to make you pay big bucks for not much in return. I am reasonably certain that I have complained about them on here before but here we go again. Round Two.

For a few weeks I have been slowly draining the ink from the cartridges in my printer, hoping that through some miracle they will just refill themselves for free. Sadly, this hasn’t happened and as I need to print boarding passes for my flight to Bilbao on Friday I thought I had better buy some ink.

So I memorised the number on the ink cartridge and the model of my printer and headed down the road and around the corner to my nearest OfficeDepot. I was in a bit of a rush as I was expecting guests in the next half hour or so but I figured it couldn’t take THAT long to buy ink. Surely.

For some reason the ink cartridges were located behind a counter so I had to wait for someone to serve me. This being France, there wasn’t a huge rush for this to happen. Eventually it was my turn and the overly excitable (that is a lie) salesman asked how he could help me. It wasn’t a good start when I realised I wasn’t sure what the word for ‘ink cartridge’ was but I had a guess and it was a good one and asked for an HP 301 cartouche.

Cartridge 301 doesn’t exist.
Umm… but that’s what it says on my printer and on the cartridge.
No, that isn’t possible, it doesn’t exist.
If you can tell me the reference number on the cartridge I can tell you what you need, otherwise there is nothing I can do.
Well it says 301.
Ok bye.

So I stood in OfficeDepot trying to find some sort of information on the HP website about what ink cartridge I needed, only to get even more infuriated as the HP website is as useless as their printers. So home I went, determined to prove to the grumpy sales guy that I was right and he was wrong. I got home, opened the printer et VOILA! A big fat 301 was printed on the ink cartridge. And so back to the shop I went with my evidence.

There was now a long queue and I was eventually served by a different guy who actually smiled. Miracle! I showed him my cartridge and said “I’d like a new one, please.” MIRACLE OF MIRACLES he turned around and pulled a 301 cartridge from the shelf. Clearly in the time it had taken my to go home, get the cartridge and return to the shop they had restocked their shelves and HP had invented a 301 ink cartridge. I was a little disappointed that the first rude guy hadn’t served me so I couldn’t make some sort of sarcastic comment about how he had been wrong, but the happier salesman was significantly nicer and he took my old cartridge away and gave me a rebate for recycling it at their store! HA HA! TAKE THAT, GRUMPY FRENCH MAN!

HP ink cartridge

Macgyver knew the 301 existed. He knows everything.


Thursday, December 9th, 2010

I have to do deep breathing exercises every time I need to go to Officeworks. I don’t know what it is about that place but it seems to be some sort of hole of evil where all things that are bad are pulled into one big blue and white building where they interbreed and give birth to mutant evil beings.

You would think that a world of stationery and office supplies should be a joyous and overwhelmingly satisfying place to visit, and in my opinion it SHOULD. But Officeworks seems to take the t-a-s-t-y out of stationery  and all you’re left with is i-o-n-e-r (that took me a really long time to think of… it’s the best I could do.)

In case you hadn’t worked it out, I have just returned from a very brief visit to Officeworks in Subiaco where I went in search of some decent, relatively high GSM white card that I could turn into Christmas cards. A fairly simple request, I would have thought. But no. I had a few options to choose from but they were either too big, too much, too expensive or not white. I sighed a lot while I was there.

Allow me to list the problems I have with Officeworks:

  1. They never have exactly what you want. You need to be prepared to compromise every time you walk into the store. As long as you’re willing to accept that you’ll leave with something less than what you wanted, you’ll be fine.
  2. The staff appear to be goggle-eyed aliens. I’m not picking on anyone in particular but as a general statement they all seem to stare into space and not want to be there. I can’t blame them – they’re clearly exasperated that they are working in a less than awesome stationery shop. If I worked there I would be on a constant protest, refusing to work until they brought in some decent products.
  3. They employ millions (well, a lot) of staff but none of them seem to be capable of going on a cash register. Clearly at the start of each day, the manager assigns each staff member a job, most of those jobs being “stand around having conversations with each other in the aisles while your customers wander around lost, needing help or just wanting to pay and leave.” Today there were 6 people in the line in front of me, waiting to pay. There was one girl serving on one of the four checkouts available. There were then about four other staff members wandering around near the checkout either scanning items for no apparent reason or just doing absolutely nothing. Perhaps their jobs for the day was to make the store look busier and take up space. They were doing a good job.
  4. Officeworks sells a lot of things that have nothing to do with stationery or offices. Why do they stock up on giant bags of Minties and yet their selection of higher GSM paper is so minimal?

I have more complaints but you get the idea. The thing that amused me the most was that they had a special section set up with Christmas ideas and products to make the festive season more user friendly. They were selling “Card making sets” which contained 200gsm paper and envelopes. PERFECT! Except for the fact that I wanted white (surely a fairly common Christmas colour what with the associations with snow) and they only had green or red. While this didn’t worry me too much, what really made me laugh was the fact that in the pack you received 40 pieces of paper to fold into C6 sized cards, but only 25 envelopes. Sure, you might write long letters to some people and use up more paper, but if you’re buying a product that is titled “Card Making Kit” then surely the cards to envelopes ratio should be 1:1?

Well this rant has gone on for long enough. I should really get on with making these cards rather than just talking about it. Oh, and in case you’re interested, I ended up compromising and buying some A5 card that will fold easily into C6 cards, but they only have them in multi-coloured sets. So I’m reducing the number of cards I’m making. Or perhaps introducing bBlue as the new Christmas colour.